Your healthcare website is a direct reflection of your practice. Therefore, you can’t hire just anyone to create it.
Certain website vendors might tell you what you want to hear, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. If these people are inexperienced or don’t have your best interests at heart, they will create a website that doesn’t do your practice any favors.
Here’s a look at a few website design statements that should be considered a red flag. If they come up in conversation, it’s probably best to work with someone else.
7 healthcare website promises that should make you think twice
1. “You don’t need a responsive site.”
As of February 2019, 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center. Furthermore, GSMA Intelligence predicts 3.7 billion people — 72 percent of global internet users — will access the internet using only mobile devices by 2025.
Given these numbers, it’s clear patients are using a variety of devices to access your site. Therefore, having a responsive medical website is a must, as it adjusts to fit the screen size of the device. This allows all patients to enjoy an optimal viewing experience.
2. “Anyone can build a website that can be found in search.”
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: Creating a medical website that ranks highly in search requires vast search engine optimization (SEO) knowledge. This isn’t easy, as nearly two-thirds of companies (61 percent) cite generating traffic and leads as their top marketing challenge, according to HubSpot.
You can have the most amazing healthcare website, but it’s essentially useless if people can’t find it. In fact, three-quarters (75 percent) of people don’t look past the first page of Google search results, according to Moz.
3. “Website content can be written by anyone.”
Bad content can ruin an otherwise amazing healthcare website. In fact, nearly half of consumers (44 percent) won’t purchase from a brand if its content is too wordy or poorly written, according to Adobe.
Content should be written during the website design process. Consider it a red flag if your web designer doesn’t make it a priority or suggests having anyone but a professional copywriter do the work.
Check out: How to write medical website content that performs in local search
4. “Web design tools will build a great site.”
Easy-to-use web design tools seemingly make it possible for anyone to create a website. However, there’s no comparison between a site made with one of these tools and one created by a seasoned web designer.
If building a quality healthcare website was easy, everyone would do it. Working with an experienced web designer is the only way to get a finished product your business deserves.
5. “Your website only needs to work on Chrome.”
At 49.35 percent market share as of November 2019, according to Statcounter, Chrome is the most popular internet browser in the U.S. There’s a 50-50 chance your patients are using Chrome, but if they’re not, you still want them to have an outstanding user experience.
Making sure your healthcare website is compatible with all browsers is a must because it could cause you to lose out on new business. If prospective patients visit your website using a browser other than Chrome, they’ll probably move on to your competitor if it doesn’t function properly.
6. “A lack of healthcare experience doesn’t matter.”
No one can be an expert at everything. Be cautious of web designers who claim they can create an outstanding medical website despite having few or no healthcare clients.
Sure, any experienced web designer might be able to create a website that’s attractive and functional. However, a professional with specialized healthcare industry experience will be better equipped to know exactly what your practice website needs. After all, podiatrists and ophthalmologists are both doctors, but you wouldn’t go to the latter to have a foot fracture treated.
Related: 5 pages your medical website needs
7. “Your website will be completed ASAP.”
If your current healthcare website is seriously lacking — or nonexistent — you want a new one as soon as possible. However, quality websites aren’t built overnight.
For example, it takes an average of three hours and 57 minutes just to create one blog post, according to Orbit Media. That’s only one piece of content, so be wary of a web designer who promises to complete your site in a matter of days.
They should provide you with a clear implementation process that details the work they’ll be doing — and the timeline — from start to finish. This gets the two of you on the same page from the beginning and allows you to know exactly what they’re doing.
Your healthcare website should make you proud. Carefully vet the company you work with to create it to ensure it meets the quality standards your practice deserves.
For more on this topic, see the blog post “The 10 most common doctor website mistakes — and how to fix them.”